ION INDIE MAGAZINE October 2014, Volume 5 - Page 53

Cain’s Ballroom By J.B. Bridges Built in 1924 as an automobile garage for W. TATE BRADY, CAIN’S BALLROOM in Tulsa, Oklahoma has run the gamut on uses for a venue. In 1930, MADISON "DADDY" CAIN bought the building and reopened as “Cain's Dance Academy”, where one could get dance lessons for the going rate of 10 cents a lesson. The academy was the site of THE TEXAS PLAYBOYS’ first radio broadcast and they continued to play there regularly. In the 1960’s, Cain’s briefly went dark when Rock and Roll took the limelight. It was purchased by 82 year old MARIE MEYERS, a BOB WILLS traditionalist in 1972. She planned to reopen it as a full-time dance hall, but it soon was met with limited success. It fell into disuse until 1976, when a man named LARRY purchased it, updated it, and reopened it under its current name. In late 1977, it was reopened once again--with a performance by ELVIN BISHOP. Schaeffer's show production support was provided by LITTLE WING. In '78, it hosted the viciously unique SEX PISTOLS, one of a few to host the band’s only American tour, along with several other bands of the British invasion. After the Sex Pistols gig, Cain's primarily succeeded in music bookings and oddity performances. In the 1980s, Schaeffer took a business partner named DAVIT SOUDERS. Souders focused on international artists in the New Wave scene. In 2010, Pollstar ranked Cain's Ballroom at #26 worldwide for ticket sales at club venues. In 2013, Oklahoma Joe's BBQ began serving lunch out of Cain's. Called “The Carnegie Hall of Country Music”, the venue has hosted a variety of artists and genres. It is said the ghost of Bob Wills himself haunts the famous venue. There are scores of ghost hunter investigations on the web that have explored the strangeness that occurs at Cain's, as it is listed as one of the most haunted places in Oklahoma. Located at 423 N. Main Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you can attend the concert of your favorite talented artist by calling the Box Office at 918-584-2306. And when the music dies down, for the price of that ticket, you may just meet someone--or something--as an added bonus.